Rob Gronkowski Ruled Out vs. Titans Because of Back, Ankle Injuries

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 11, 2018

BUFFALO, NY - OCTOBER 29: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on October 29, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans because of back and ankle injuries.

Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald reported Saturday that Gronkowski was unlikely to play.

Gronkowski had already missed two games prior to Sunday with the injuries. His performance has been hindered throughout the year, potentially because of long-term wear and tear on his body from nine NFL seasons.

Through seven games, Gronkowski has 448 receiving yards and one touchdown on 29 receptions. The five-time Pro Bowler's 15.4 yards per catch is his lowest mark since 2014, and his 64.0 receiving yards per game is his worst since his rookie season in 2010.

The Patriots have kept their offense moving with a diminished Gronkowski. Josh Gordon has taken over as Tom Brady's big-play target, averaging 18.0 yards per reception in six games, and James White and Julian Edelman have been Brady's favorite targets and safety nets underneath to keep the chains moving.

New England is one of the few teams in the NFL that can afford to sit a player of Gronkowski's caliber without skipping a beat. Veteran Dwayne Allen will take over as the Patriots' No. 1 tight end until Gronk is healthy enough to get back on the field.